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14 Natural Remedies to Relieve Cough

A cough can be a nuisance, disrupting your sleep, conversations, and overall well-being. While coughs often accompany the common cold or flu, they can also be triggered by allergies, irritants, or postnasal drip. Fortunately, you don’t always need to reach for over-the-counter medications. Numerous natural remedies are readily available in your kitchen or easily obtainable to provide cough relief at home.

This blog explores home remedies for cough, offering natural homemade cough remedies to manage that persistent tickle in your throat.

Hydrate

Our bodies rely on fluids to function optimally, and coughs are no exception. Drinking plenty of fluids helps thin mucus, making it easier to expel and reducing throat irritation. Water is the best choice, but warm liquids like herbal teas, clear broths, or even warm fruit juices can be equally comforting. Aim for eight glasses of fluids daily, or more if you’re experiencing a fever or sweating.

Steam

Steam inhalation is a time-tested remedy for coughs. The warm, moist air helps loosen mucus and soothe irritated airways. Take a hot shower, allowing the steam to fill the bathroom. Breathe deeply for several minutes. Alternatively, create a steam bowl by filling a large bowl with hot water and placing your face comfortably over it (with a towel draped over your head) while inhaling the steam. For an extra boost, add a few drops of eucalyptus or menthol essential oil (avoid direct contact with eyes).

Saltwater 

Gargling with warm salt water can provide relief by reducing inflammation and easing discomfort. Dissolve half a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle for a few seconds and spit. Repeat this several times a day.

Honey 

honey in jar with a wooden stick

Honey has long been used as a natural cough suppressant. Its soothing properties coat the throat, reducing irritation and the urge to cough. However, it’s important to note that honey is not safe for children under one year old.

Ginger

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can help throat irritation, while its warming effect can loosen mucus. Enjoy ginger tea made with fresh ginger root steeped in hot water. You can also add a slice of ginger to your steam inhalation or consume ginger lozenges.

Soups and Broths

warm dumpling soup with in a blow

Warm soups and broths offer a comforting and hydrating way to soothe a cough. The steam can help clear congestion, while the fluids help thin mucus. Opt for homemade chicken broth or vegetable soup packed with healthy ingredients.

Herbs 

herbs in jars

Chamomile tea, with its calming properties, can soothe a sore throat and promote relaxation, aiding sleep disturbed by coughing. Thyme tea, known for its decongestant properties, can help loosen phlegm and ease a cough. Liquorice root tea may also provide relief, although it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using it if you have high blood pressure.

Lozenges

Cough lozenges can provide temporary cough relief by stimulating saliva production and soothing a scratchy throat. Opt for sugar-free lozenges with menthol or eucalyptus for a cooling effect.

Rest

When you rest, your body can focus on healing and fighting off the underlying cause of your cough. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and elevate your head slightly with extra pillows to ease drainage and prevent postnasal drip that can trigger coughing.

Humidify Air

Dry air can exacerbate coughs. Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night can add moisture to the air, loosening mucus and soothing a scratchy throat. Ensure you clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mould or bacteria.

Garlic

Garlic in bowl on wooden table

Garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties and may also offer some relief from coughs. While the taste might not be everyone’s favourite, you can try adding crushed garlic to soups or broths, or even swallow a clove (with caution) for its potential benefits.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm bark is a traditional remedy known for its soothing and lubricating properties. It coats the throat, reducing irritation and the urge to cough. You can find slippery elm in lozenge form or as a powder mixed with warm water to create a soothing drink. However, consult your doctor before using slippery elm if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pineapple Power

Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, has anti-inflammatory properties that may help ease throat irritation and reduce coughing. While there isn’t extensive scientific research on its effectiveness for cough relief, some people find consuming fresh pineapple or drinking bromelain supplements helpful. Remember, consult your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While these effective home remedies for cough can provide significant relief, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. If your cough:

  • Lasts longer than two weeks
  • Produces bloody mucus
  • Is accompanied by a high fever (over 100.4°F for adults or 102.2°F for children)
  • Makes it difficult to breathe
  • Is accompanied by severe wheezing or chest pain

Consult a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and get appropriate treatment.

The 14 effective home remedies for cough in this blog offer a natural approach to soothe your throat, loosen phlegm, and ease coughing. Remember, consistency is key. By following these cough relief at home remedies into your routine, along with proper rest and hydration, you’ll be well on your way to a cough-free future.

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